News Carl Lewis has accused Chris Christie of intimidation

Chris Christie, the embattled governor of New Jersey whose hopes for presidential nomination have been hit by revelations of alleged politically-motivated lane closures and misspending of federal aid, was dealt a new blow last night after the former Olympic sprint and long jump champion Carl Lewis accused him of “intimidation”.

Florida’s incumbent governor, Rick Scott, won in 2010 by a narrow margin

Medical marijuana law may prove to be election high for Florida's Democrats

Politicians are used to courting a particular section of society come election time, but in a first for America, it may be the marijuana vote that decides the Florida governor’s race.

Hair today: David Cameron with a bouffant style (left) and his current cut

Indyplus politics: Why hair matters so much to politicians

Few get closer to the Prime Minister than his barber, so no wonder Cameron's has been awarded with an MBE. And hair has always been big in politics, explains Andy McSmith

Mitt Romney has accepted Melissa Harris-Perry's apology after panelists on her US programme made fun of his African-American grandson

Mitt Romney accepts Melissa Harris-Perry's apology but says 'children are beyond the line'

The former Republican said his family is moving on after panelists made jokes about his African American grandson

One third of Americans reject the theory of evolution

One third of Americans reject the theory of evolution

President Barack Obama, with Michelle Obama, listens to women's concerns about the Affordable Care Act, known as 'Obamacare'

Is the tide finally turning for Obamacare? After a slow start, the President’s signature policy must sink or swim in the new year

After early technical issues that gave ammunition to right-wing critics, enrollments for the medical insurance have surged in December - but will it continue?

Chris Christie has been riding high in polls to be the Republicans’ presidential candidate in 2016

Chris Christie engulfed by gridlock scandal: Republican frontrunner accused of closing New Jersey bridge road as retribution against Democrat town mayor

New Jersey governor has claimed no advance knowledge of the incident which saw the closure of two access lanes from Fort Lee

Market Report: Traders bet US Fed will keep the taps turned on into the  new year

A two-day meeting kicks off today at the US Federal Reserve to decide whether to bring to an end to the quantitative easing sooner rather than later.

Social Democrats count votes in Berlin yesterday

Germany set for grand coalition as left-of-centre Social Democrats vote in favour of joining ruling alliance

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling conservatives were on course to form a grand coalition government.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan speaks at a press conference to announce the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013

America gets a budget deal – just don’t mention tax and welfare

Congress to avoid another federal shutdown with bipartisan pact

James Moore: Short-term fixes are so much fun for America's politicians

Outlook America's law makers are once again engaging in posturing and horse trading over budgets and spending in an attempt to avoid another government shutdown.

US President Barack Obama pauses while making a statement about the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela in the briefing room of the White House

Washington nears US budget deal to avoid new government shutdown

US politicians are closing in on a deal to ease the impact of spending cuts worth up to $200 billion (£122 billion) which are due to hit home next year, it emerged today.

Demonstrators marching towards Government House in Bangkok; an estimated 100,000 protesters flooded the streets

Stalemate in Bangkok: protests go on despite Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra’s surprise election offer

Analysts say call for early elections is unlikely to satisfy opponents who want to rid country of Shinawatra family's influence

Marco Rubio’s Chatham House speech received applause; but can he convince fellow Republicans?
Congressional aides predict Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell could seal agreement

US Senate ‘very close’ to agreeing deal to raise debt ceiling and end shutdown

Senior Senate aides say deal is about to be announced

A cyclist rides past the US Capitol

US debt: Truce in sight as Senate leaders work on compromise ahead of Thursday's deadline

China calls for 'de-Americanized world' not dependent on the dollar as a reserve currency

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk